I pull in the parking space at the grocery store and start fishing around for my necessities: list, keys, cell phone, gum…
“Are you going to walk or ride in the cart?” I ask Mister, peeking back in the rear view mirror.
“I’m going to walk,” he tells me. “The rules are…”
I stop rummaging around and turn around to look at him.
“You’re right,” I tell him. “We have to go over the rules. What are the rules in the store?”
“Hold on to the cart.”
“Or…” I prompt.
“Or a hand. And don’t touch anything.”
“That’s right. Unless Mum asks you to.”
That part finished, Mister starts struggling to get out of his car seat. He’s ready. I get my things together and get going.
This little blurb from this morning may make me seem like a structure nut. A super controlling behavior obsessed mom. A dictator. I’m not. Or at least I think I’m not. I’ve just learned, with my share of the hard way, that Mister does better when we talk about the rules before we do something new. Even if that something is only new because we haven’t done it since last week. Or yesterday. Or five minutes ago.
That got me thinking. Is my writing better when I follow the rules? Knowing that they are probably different for everyone, just like Mister’s rules in the grocery store, what are my rules for writing?
What are the guidelines you write by? Please share your “rules” for storytelling in the comments below.
And if you’re having trouble figuring out what your rules are, check out these other resources on the rules for storytelling:
Pixar’s rules of storytelling: www.aerogrammestudio.com/2013/03/07/pixars-22-rules-of-storytelling
Neil Gaiman’s eight rules of writing: www.aerogrammestudio.com/2013/02/28/neil-gaimans-eight-rules-of-writing